Do you know that the poisonous scorpion sting can be a potential threat to your child’s life? The dangerous insect belongs to the class of the animal group arthropod. Here we talk about the important facts about scorpions your kids should be aware of!
Scorpion Information For Kids:
Scorpions are one of the most feared insects. Not only kids but also adults are afraid of them for their wriggly movements and venomous stings. There are about 2,000 different species of scorpions found all over the world. Although all of them belong to the same animalia group called arthropods, they’re not insects, but something close to them.
1. Are Scorpions Different From Insects?
As already mentioned, insects and scorpions are close. They have exoskeleton similar to that of a spider, mite, centipede, etc. Jointed appendages and the shedding of skin while growing, by a process called molting, are also common among them. On the other hand, there are a lot of dissimilarities between them:
- While an insect has six legs, the scorpions have eight.
- The number of body segments in insects is three and two in scorpions.
- The absence of wings or antennae in scorpions also makes them distinctively different from insects.
[ Read: Crab Facts For Kids ]
2. Where Do Scorpions Live?
Except for the icy continent of Antarctica, scorpions are found almost all over the world. The credit goes to their adaptive features. Some of their living habits habitats are:
- They live underground but some of them are found on trees.
- Due to their sensitivity to light, they love to stay hidden under sand or rocks.
- Owing to their excellent adaptability, they can live in extreme of temperatures. But they favor temperatures ranging from 68 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whatever place they live in, they always need soil to dig burrows and hide inside.
3. What Do Scorpions Eat?
Being nocturnal animals they search for food at night. They are extremely hostile when it comes to searching their food. They listen to vibrations before they attack their prey.
- They prey on rodents and insects and eat a lot to move briskly,
- Sometimes they are seen searching for food at day, but that is mainly during the rainy season. It is because there are more chances of finding insects during that time.
- There are some larger varieties of scorpions that can gobble up lizards while there are some which prey on small vertebrates.
4. What Is The Anatomy Of A Scorpion?
The body of a scorpion comprises of three main segments:
- The prosoma or cephalothorax (head): The pair of claws present in them is known as pedipalps which end with pinchers known as chelae. Besides these two characteristic features, the eyes and mouth are also present in the prosoma. The pedipalps help them to hold to their prey or fight with other creatures or scorpions.
- The mesosoma (abdomen): Scorpions possess four pairs of legs with claws along with seven different body segments. These features, present in the mesosoma or abdomen region, assist them to crawl over any surface. The organs for other vital activities like respiration and reproduction are present here.
- The metasoma (tail): The tail portion of the scorpions has five different segments and the telson is at its end. This telson has the deadly venom contained in a pair of glands and a stinger.
5. How Do Scorpions Move?
The arachnids walk using their four pairs of joined legs. Some of the species, like tailless whip scorpion, move sideways, while others like bark scorpion move upside down.
6. Types Of Scorpions:
In general, there are five types of scorpions.
- Arizona Bark Scorpion: This variety is one of the deadliest varieties across the world. Its size varies from two to three inches, based on their habitat. Owing to their light-colored body, they tend to blend easily with the desert environment. Mainly found in the Sonoran desert, they are also found in the US and northern Mexico. Although scorpions live solo, this variety stays in packs.
- Deathstalker Scorpion: The other name of this type is the Israeli desert scorpion. When it comes to the toxicity of venom, their names rank at the topmost position. People are hardly able to survive when stung by them. The four-inched female varieties are slightly larger than the three-inched. They are in yellow or green in color, and their tall and thin legs are markedly different from the thick limbs which the major varieties of scorpions possess. Mainly found all over the Middle East and Africa, especially in countries like Ethiopia, Egypt, and Algeria. High levels of humidity and a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit aids in their survival. Their preference to eat living things makes grasshoppers and worms being a part of their primary diet.
- Emperor Scorpion: As the name suggests, they’re the popular varieties of scorpions, where the females are about eight inches long while the males are up to six inches. Although their sting is hard to forget, their venom is not that deadly. In fact, they’re the timidest of all the different varieties of scorpions. Their body color is dark but shiny and tend to glow green when held to ultraviolet light. They’re primarily nocturnal but may become active during the day if there is high availability of food like that in the rainy season. Their natural habitat is mainly in various regions of Africa but is found all over the world as they have been held captive and brought to other places for studies and experiments. Although they are shy and cowardly, when exposed to light, they can become extremely aggressive.
- Fattail Scorpion: Also known as the fat-tailed scorpions, they are known as man killers as they have killed a lot of people with their sting. Their size is small, being four inches at their maximum size. The females are larger than the males. Their tail is fat unlike the other varieties, and the venom is extremely poisonous. They are found all over Africa and in the Middle East and also in India and Turkey. Their preference of temperature varies and can survive in both warm and cool climates. Due to their highly poisonous venom, people cannot keep them as their pets. They are extremely resistant to pesticides.
[ Read: Jellyfish Facts For Kids ]
7. How Many Scorpions Are There In The World?
There are around 1,750 known species of scorpions in the world, and 25 of them have the capability to kill human beings.
8. Predators Of Scorpions:
There are a significant number of animals that feast upon scorpions. But the choice for the predators to eat scorpions depends on their locality and availability of food. The size of the scorpions is also a deciding factor of getting attacked by the larger ones.
- Some rodents eat them, but the funny thing here is the reverse also happens. The ones living near to water bodies are more susceptible to the rodents along with birds. The ability of birds to watch them from a high distance makes them very helpless in front of them.
- In the desert regions, they fall prey to snakes and lizards. But again some of the varieties act as predators to smaller lizards.
- Being a neighbor in the same habitats, it’s quite natural to find centipedes and scorpions live side by side but both are always trying to get the upper hand.
- Bat being a nocturnal animal too, sometimes eats scorpions when they’re most active and go out in search of their food.
- Here comes the shocker: scorpions often eat other scorpions. This is mostly seen in the females who kill and eat their male counterparts after their mating is over.
9. Do Lizards Eat Scorpions?
Yes, some specific species of lizards eat scorpions. Side-blotched lizards mostly found in western parts of the US have scorpions in their meal.
10. Are Scorpions Poisonous?
The venom of a scorpion is deadly but at the same time is a topic of fascination and experiment for many. A chemical named neurotoxin is present in the venom of a scorpion. This venom attacks the nervous system of their prey resulting in their death or paralyzing them. The scorpion family Buthidae consists of scorpions which have the most lethal poisons.
11. Killing A Scorpion:
Though the insects are hard to kill, here are a few things that can lead to death of a scorpion:
- You can pierce a pointed thing into the exoskeleton of the insect.
- Hire a professional pest control agency, as they can help in killing the scorpions by spraying insecticides.
[ Read: Butterfly Facts For Kids ]
12. Where Are Scorpions Found In The World?
You can find the big-sized scorpions mostly in the southwest US, as they prefer to live in warm and dry climates. Some of the famous places in the world with the highest population of scorpions are California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
13. Household Protection Tips Against Scorpions:
There are certain necessary methods and approaches which can be used to make your house free from scorpions. This will come very handy to protect your kids:
- Keep your house clean and free from insects. In the absence of their victims, the scorpions will never reside in your home.
- If there exist cracks in your house, no matter how small they are, close them immediately so that the scorpions can’t crawl inside.
- Scorpions find hot and humid conditions favorable for their living. Hence, you should not let any accumulation of rubbish near your house.
- Some of the varieties reside in trees and thus you should keep the branches of the trees in your garden well-trimmed so that these creatures don’t drop from the trees into your house. (1)
Fun Scorpion Facts For Kids:
Here are some interesting scorpion facts that your little one would love to know:
- Scorpions have eight legs, a narrow tail, and a pair of pincers. They use the pointed pincers to hold small insects and bite them with their poisonous tail stinger.
- The size of a scorpion ranges from 0.09cm to 20cm.
- Due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in scorpion’s exoskeleton, they often shine under UV light.
- As a scorpion can intake huge amount of food at a single time, it can survive for six to 12 months without food.
- Scorpions can differentiate between the light and darkness.
- The average lifespan of a scorpion is around three to eight years, but in some cases, it even survives longer in captivity.
- You can find scorpions in different parts of the globe, except Antarctica.
- The younger scorpions, referred to as scorplings, usually stay with their mother until they accomplish their first molt.
Did you take appropriate measures to safeguard your little one from the poisonous scorpion sting? Were they effective enough? Share your valuable thoughts about scorpions and how to keep your kids protected from the harmful insect! Comment in the box below!
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